Protagonists in Learning

Dear Lower School Families,
 
I hope that this note finds you well. I find myself relishing in the renewal of spirit that the warmer weather and longer hours of sunlight bring during this time of year. The children are also brimming with the energy of spring and engagement with exciting curricular moments, many of which were shared with you during the recent family conferences. I wish to quickly highlight some of those special moments that have taken place or will take place in the coming days and weeks.

The second graders, under the guidance of Aedín, hosted their parents and special grownups last Wednesday. It was a treat to see the second graders “pop” like popcorn to techno beats and improvise on the xylophone while their peers danced to the music being created. The original verse the students created to the tune of “Empire State of Mind,” highlighting facts they had learned during their study of New York City was a showstopper. On the other end of the spectrum, yesterday’s Kindergarten music share, under the guidance of Sheri, highlighted the joy with which the students sang as they “became trees” with roots going deep into the earth, accompanied by the percussion instruments that were so expertly played by their peers. In both of these cases, I witnessed students who clearly embodied a sense of ownership for their work, and possessed the confidence necessary to share that knowledge with a room full of adults.
 
This time of year will provide families with the opportunity to see the many ways in which students have been protagonists in learning experiences across their day. The third and fourth grade science night and first and second grade science night, April 25 and May 3 respectively, will allow students to teach their grownups about the process of engaging in scientific inquiry. Additionally, the upcoming music shares, classroom shares and Spring Concert are also moments during which students proudly showcase what they have learned over many months.
 
Finally, please make note of the upcoming “What to Expect in...” conversations that will take place on the mornings of May 5, 12, 9, and 25th. Judy, Debra and I will be speaking to the ways in which our understanding of the developmental needs of children across a variety of domains (social, emotional, cognitive, physical) inform the structure of our program at each grade level. We will also speak to how parents and caregivers can support the needs of their children at each stage.
 
Kind regards,
Elena
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